Bite-sized brawl: The cupcake showdown

Ali Freedman

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, it’s time to start thinking about how to woo your loved one. Everyone knows the way to the heart is through the stomach, so this year forego the flowers and try out cupcakes. Tucson has three cupcakeries that dedicate themselves solely to the art of the cupcake. Our cupcake showdown will help you find the perfect cup-sized cake for your beloved this holiday. Each of the four categories is out of a possible 25 for a total of 100 possible points.


Red Velvet Cupcakery

Taste: 25

Variety: 25

Décor: 20

Price: 20

Red Velvet offers a delicious variety of gourmet cupcakes. With a light and fluffy cake that is moist and buttercream frosting that is rich, smooth and creamy, there is nothing not to like. Although they come in at just above $3, Red Velvet’s cupcakes are well worth the cost. Its namesake, the red velvet cupcake, is everything it should be. The rich cream cheese frosting is fantastic. Along with the 11 standard options for cupcakes, there is a featured cupcake each month to sink your teeth into.



Taste: 10

Variety: 20

Décor: 5

Price: 10

Mini’s is a bit of a disappointment when compared to its local competitors. The drab and dark shop tucked in La Encantada is unimpressive. While it offers good variety, the cupcakes aren’t worth the cost. Coming in just under $4 is a bit much considering that the cake is dense, though moist, and that the frosting is too thick to really be enjoyable. The dark chocolate cupcake is a little overwhelming with its hard frosting and heavy cake, and the red velvet cannot compare to Red Velvet’s version.



Taste: 20

Variety: 25

Décor: 20

Price: 15

Cupcakes offers a wide array of cupcake flavors in its friendly and bright shop. There are eight cupcakes offered daily and three other cupcakes that rotate weekly. The cake is light and lovely to taste, and the frosting is rich and creamy. It definitely rivals Red Velvet and offers a similar menu. Cupcakes’ biggest downfall is the price tag. The prices are the highest at $3.50 per cupcake. While it isn’t too much of a price difference, it may not be worth the drive out to Crossroad Festival. With that said, if you’re in the area, pop in and give them a try.


Overall, Red Velvet Cupcakery located on the UA’s doorstep gets the best grade for gourmet cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakery

943 E. University Blvd., Suite 165


Open daily 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.


2905 E. Skyline Dr., Suite 148


Monday – Wednesday 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday & Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.


4811 E. Grant Rd., Suite 127


Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Sunday noon – 5 p.m.